Beijing – A project to for wet-mixing of elastomers with fillers has been completed in China and passed expert appraisal tests by the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Assocaition, according to the China Rubber Journal.
In a report published on 27 Oct, the journal said the project was developed jointly by the two Mesnac-owned Even Rubber Institute Ltd and Ecombine Advanced Materials Co. as well as Sailun Jinyu Group.
The appraisal commission said that the projected had "successfully developed the continuous liquid phase mixing technique for synthetic rubber/white carbon black for the first time in the world."
Green tires produced by the rubber will have high abrasion resistance and A/B level of EU Labelling Code, the China Rubber Journal claimed.
According to the report, compared with tires produced by major Tier 1 companies through dry mixing, green tires produced by this rubber achieved over 10% improved wet grip, while rolling resistance dropped 13%. The tires’ wear resistance also improved by 30% compared to dry-processed rubber.
Italy’s Versalis, which was also part of the project, declined to comment on the development.
Versalis, the chemical arm of Eni, had confirmed to ERJ in 2016 that that it would expect to launch the rubber product in 2017.
“This is a technology platform that will use Versalis’ elastomer production knowhow and EVE’s technology which allow us to wet-mix the elastomers with fillers while still in solution,” explained Sergio Lombardini, director of research, technology and engineering of Versalis.
In what may seem like a very simple solution, wet-mixing delivers compounds with “incredible performances compared with dry compounds”, according to Lombardini.
That is because it allows a much more “intimate” mixing in the compound to stop filler-with-filler interaction and allow only filler-elastomer interaction.
The solution, according to the Versalis director, gives a huge improvement to the tire performance in both rolling resistance and grip.
The two Mesnac-owned companies and Versalis announced their joint effort in July 2015, saying it would lead to “a breakthrough generation of tires”, based on Versalis’ proprietary solution styrene butadiene rubber (SSBR) and butadiene rubber (Nd-HCBR) technologies.